facebook pixel
  • Watch Certification Services of America100% Certified Authentic


    The Trusted Name in Authenticated Luxury Timepieces

    Every watch on our site is 100% certified authentic. Certificates are issued by WatchCSA, the industry's leading independent authority on watch authentication.




Rolex Oyster Perpetual Watch vs. Oyster Perpetual Range: What’s the Difference?

March 26, 2020

BY Paul Altieri


The terms “Oyster” and “Perpetual” are central to Rolex; as you get more familiar with the brand you’ll quickly notice how often these two words come up. Somewhat confusingly, many Rolex watches, such as the Submariner, Datejust, and Daytona, all fall under the “Oyster Perpetual” lineup but there is also a specific Rolex model called the Oyster Perpetual. If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between the Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch vs. Oyster Perpetual range, read on to find out.

What Watch is the Rolex Oyster Perpetual?

The Origins of the Rolex Oyster Case and the Perpetual Movement

In 1926, Rolex unveiled the Oyster, which was the world’s first truly waterproof and dust-proof wristwatch. The Oyster’s unique case architecture comprised of a screw-down winding crown, a screw-down fluted bezel, and a screw-down fluted caseback to hermetically seal the watch.

A few years later, in 1931, Rolex introduced yet another groundbreaking innovation in the form of the Perpetual movement. This was the world’s first automatic movement that used a Perpetual rotor – a semi-circular shaped oscillating weight that moves in either direction according to the motion of the wearer’s wrist – to wind up the mainspring that powers the watch.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Definition

Today, if a Rolex watch has the words “Oyster Perpetual” on the dial, it means that the watch has an Oyster case with a screw-down caseback, which offers a minimum water-resistance rating of 100 meters (dive watches have higher depth ratings), and that it is automatic-winding due to its Perpetual movement.

Take a closer look at the dials of any GMT-Master, Milgauss, Explorer, Datejust, or Day-Date, and you’ll see that they are all marked with “Oyster Perpetual” on their dials. Therefore, these all belong to the Oyster Perpetual range. Some Rolex watches that are not part of the Oyster Perpetual range include the Cellini (not water-resistant to 100 meters), the Oysterquartz (not automatic but quartz-powered), Oysterdate (not automatic but hand-wound), and vintage four-digit Daytonas (not automatic but hand-wound).

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Buying Guide

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Watch

On the other hand, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch is the brand’s entry-level model with a straightforward time-only dial. Current-production versions are exclusively made in stainless steel and there are a few size options to choose from such as 39mm, 36mm, 34mm, 31mm, and 26mm.

Along with case sizes, there are also plenty of dial color choices available on the Rolex Oyster Perpetual. However, other details, such as steel Oyster bracelets, smooth bezels, and straight baton hands remain the same across all Oyster Perpetual models.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual model vs range definition guide

Of course, like all Rolex watches for sale within the Oyster Perpetual range, the OP watches are also water-resistant (100 meters) and powered by automatic movements. The Oyster Perpetual watch is the purest expression of Rolex’s core design features, and serves as the foundation for most of Rolex’s various other watch collections.

The vast majority of current-production Rolex watches fall within the Oyster Perpetual range, which emphasizes the fact that not only are Rolex watches luxurious, but robust and practical too.

What is the Rolex Oyster Perpetual?



Leave a Reply

  • This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

    Error: API requests are being delayed. New posts will not be retrieved.

    There may be an issue with the Instagram access token that you are using. Your server might also be unable to connect to Instagram at this time.

    Error: API requests are being delayed for this account. New posts will not be retrieved.

    There may be an issue with the Instagram access token that you are using. Your server might also be unable to connect to Instagram at this time.

  • Get The Best Deals - Buy A Rolex
    Sell A Rolex

    "The most trusted place to buy or sell a used luxury timepiece" – WSJ

    • AWCI
    • Jewelers Board of Trade
    • IWJG
    • TrustLock
    • Spirit of Enterprise
    • PayPal Verified
    • Inc 500
    • FedEx
    • UPS
    • The Hartford

    Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex S.A., Rolex USA, or any other brand listed on its website. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. The brand names and associated model names for Rolex, OMEGA and other manufacturers are the trademarks of their respective owners.